Peabody Petition for Name Change, c. 1860s

In the 1860s, the inhabitants of the Town of South Danvers asked he legislature to allow them to change the name of their city to honor George Peabody. They list their reasons as being “mistakes of travellers and misdirection of letters.”

The undersigned Citizens and legal Voters of the Town of South Danvers, respectfully represent That the present name of said Town not only seems to indicate some connection or identity with the present town of Danvers from which it had just been separated, but that great inconvenience and trouble have been caused by mistakes of travelers and misdirection of letters, and they believe that many of those mistakes would be avoided if the town had a more distinctive1 name.

For these and various other reasons which if desired will be made known to your Honorable Bodies, and in obedience to what they believe to be the general sentiment2 of the Town they desire a change–

Your petitioners3 further represent if a change is to be effected, they would prefer to adopt a name in honor of the town’s most munificent benefactor4 and that South Danvers may henceforth be known by the name of Peabody.

And your Petitioners will ever pray –

Hiram Poor
J.A. Lord
Fitch Pool
F.K. Pemberton
Francis Baker
Eben Sutton
W.M. Jacobs
David Daniels
Robt. S. Daniels
Geo. A. Osborne
Geo. P. Daniels
J W H?????
Samuel Blake
E.W. Upton
Wm H. Little
David Peirce

1 Distinctive = special just for Peabody
2 Sentiment = agreement of the town
3 Petitioners = people sending this request
4 Munificent benefactor = person who has been very generous to the town


Petition for Name Change, (c. 1860s). Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, MA.